Bronco Nation News is taking a look at 20 key questions and storylines facing the Boise State football team entering the 2023 season. First up in our series is question No. 19: Who starts at cornerback for the Broncos against Washington?
The departures of Caleb Biggers and Lyric LeBeauf have brought plenty of intrigue to the Boise State football team heading into 2023.
There appears to be four candidates for the two starting spot at corner, but none appear to be locks. So who will start at corner against Washington? Let’s take a look at the candidates:
Markel Reed: The veteran of the group has appeared in 24 games since debuting in 2019 but has only made six starts. He’s had three surgeries the past three years and opened each of the last two years as the starter before suffering season-ending knee injuries both years. He’s played in just six games the past two seasons. Reed injured his knee in the Oregon State game and missed the rest of the season. If healthy, which he should be, Reed would seem likely to earn one of the starting spots, at least to start the season.
Kaonohi Kaniho: The junior has already played in 27 games and made 17 starts in three years. He started 11 games last season before missing the bowl game due to an injury. He had two interceptions as a freshman in 2021, and backed that up with two tackles-for-loss, three pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal last season. He’s got the most game experience the past two seasons of the group, and should be in the mix to start.
Jaylen Clark: The biggest corner in the group is the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Clark, who made his first career start in the Frisco Bowl to end last season with Kaniho out injured. He came up with his career interception in that game, and finished the season with 17 tackles, five pass break-us, an interception and a fumble recovery. He’s played in 26 games the past three years since debuting during the COVID-shortened season in 2020. Clark is an intriguing candidate to win one of the starting spots.
A’Marion McCoy: The junior college transfer garnered a lot of buzz during spring practices after enrolling at Boise State in January. With several corners out injured he got a chance for major playing time – and he apparently took advantage of it. Coaches and players praised McCoy throughout the spring when asked about the group. He had four interceptions last season at Laney College and added 35 tackles, four pass break-ups, two fumbles and a fumble recovery.
There are two other returning corners on the roster, Dionte Thornton and Jalen Neal, but it’s hard to see either of them beating the others for a starting spot.
So who starts at corner against Washington? The most logical guess would be Reed and Kaniho given their edge in experience, but don’t count out Clark or McCoy. Both are good enough to win spot. It figures to be an interesting battle and storyline heading into the Sept. 2 opener.
B.J. Rains and Jay Tust talked about the battle at corner on a Tuesday edition of Bronco Nation News LIVE. Watch the full show below, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest Boise State content…